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Michael Lowry TD On Painful Consequences of New Funeral Rules

“When we look back on this present time in the years to come, I believe that this (Referring to new funeral arrangements governing the Covid-19 pandemic) will be amongst our saddest memories of this extraordinary time and one of the changes; albeit very necessary, that will leave lasting scars on our hearts” Quote Tipperary Independent TD Michael Lowry.

“The governments sensible announcement that no more than 10 people can attend funeral services in their normal places of worship or at gravesides or in crematoriums; will remain very difficult for Irish people”, says Deputy Michael Lowry.

“Over the recent past Irish people are and will continue to struggle to adapt to the many changes in their lives. Some are easier to handle than others, but some go against the very things that make us uniquely Irish”. Not being able to gather to mourn our deceased family members and friends, or offer support to grieving families in the way that we have always done in Ireland, is one of the most painful changes we have had to live with,” says the Deputy.

The Independent TD Mr Michael Lowry was speaking, after contacting one of the many grieving families by phone and feeling the frustration of not being able to shake their hands and offer words of comfort.

The Deputy says that people depend on each other in times of grief and without the strength, support and company of others, grieving families may feel lost and alone. “But that is what grieving families are now forced to face in these challenging times”, he stated.

“Ireland has a very special and cherished way of holding funerals”, he continued. “We listen daily to local media broadcasts to hear if a member of our community has passed away. We attend the home of the deceased person to be with their families and we go to the Funeral Home to shake their hands and let them know we share their grief. We attend the removal of the deceased to their place of worship and we attend their funeral service and then we stand beside the bereaved as their loved one is laid to rest. We offer strength and support through our presence. It’s what we do, it’s what we’ve always done, but we cannot do so at this time and it hurts”.

Deputy Lowry confirms that he is very conscious of the fact that every person who has died in Ireland as a result of Covid-19 has died alone in many cases, or without the closeness of those they deeply love. He acknowledges with great sadness that families cannot grieve together due to social distancing rules and that the funerals of those who have passed are attended only by their very closest family members.

Under the new rules announced yesterday, all funeral services from now; until restrictions are lifted, will be restricted to a maximum of 10 people and, even as people stand at the graveside of their loved one, social distancing must be observed.

Deputy Lowry says that he understands that mourners, funeral directors and celebrants must be protected from Covid-19 and that the new measures introduced are necessary to ensure that. “But, when we look back on this present time in the years to come, I believe that this will be amongst our saddest memories of this extraordinary time and one of the changes, albeit very necessary, that will leave lasting scars on our hearts; in the meanwhile stay safe”, concluded Mr Lowry.

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Helplines See Unprecedented Rise in Volume of Assistance Calls – Lowry

Helplines See Unprecedented Rise in Volume of Calls – Michael Lowry TD

The sheer speed at which the Covid-19 virus has turned our lives upside down has caused stress, worry and problems of many kinds for people across the length and breadth of Ireland.

Schools at all levels have been closed; jobs have been lost; businesses have been forced to close; people have been restricted in how they live their everyday lives; elderly people and many who live alone are confined to their homes; social lives have vanished; sporting events are cancelled; visits to family and friends are on hold and families are enclosed in their homes day in and day out.

Add to this, the overwhelming fear of becoming ill; the stress of worrying about vulnerable family members getting ill; worries about present and future finances; keeping both adults and children occupied all day every day; concerns about work and school and the constant bombardment of dismal news stories from home and abroad. It’s easy to see how it all creates the perfect storm for a dangerous overload of stress, anxiety, depression and a myriad of social problems.

Deputy Michael Lowry is reaching out to people to advise them not to suffer in silence. “There are many Helplines and Support Groups in Ireland that are there to help and offer advice” he says. Since the arrival of Covid-19 in Ireland there has been an unprecedented rise in the number of calls to Helplines from people of all ages, from young children to elderly men and women and Deputy Lowry says that these services are providing an invaluable lifeline to many people, in a wide range of situations.

Amongst the busiest Helplines at present are those who offer advice and support to children and teenagers; the elderly and those living alone; those with mental health issues and those who are victims of domestic abuse or violence. “By picking up the phone to any of the Helplines available you are assured of a listening ear, an opportunity to speak to someone who truly understands and who can guide you to get the help that you need if necessary,” says Deputy Lowry.

Deputy Lowry has provided herewith a comprehensive list of Helplines and their contact details hereunder, as well as a list of the phone numbers for Garda Stations across Tipperary.

“Don’t be afraid to reach out for help at any time, but even more so during this time when our personal strength is being tested more than at any time in living memory”, Mr Lowry states.

Helplines

Aware (Depression) 1800 8044848.
HSE 1850 241850.
Pieta House (Suicide Helpdesk) 1800 247247.
Grow (Mental Health) 1890 474474.
Samaritans 116 123.
National Office of Suicide Prevention 01 6201670.
Childline Freefone 1800 666666.
Parentline 1890 927277.
Teenline 1800 833634.
Seniorline 1800 804591.
ALONE 0818 222024.
AMEN (Domestic Violence) 01 55543811.
Rape Crisis Centre 1800 778888.
Tipperary Rape Crisis, Clonmel 1800 340340.
Tipperary Rape Crisis, Nenagh 1800 541122.
Irish Wheelchair Association 01 8186400.
Cuan Saor Women’s Refuge 1800 576757.
Legal Aid Board 1890 615200.
Law Centre Nenagh (L.A.B.) 067 34181.
MABS 0761 072000.
Citizens Advice Bureau 0761 074000.

Living Links

An Garda Siochana
Emergencies 999 or 112.
Thurles 0504 25100.
Nenagh 067 50450.
Roscrea 0505 24230.
Tipperary Town 062 80670.
Clonmel 052 617 7640.
Templederry 0504 52202.
Cahir 052 744 5630.
Carrick-On-Suir 051 642 040.
Newport 061 378 102.
Ballingarry 052 915 4100.
Littleton 0504 44395.
Cloughjordan 0505 42122.
Cashel 062 75840.
Borrisokane 067 27101.
Toomevara 067 26002.
Mullinahone 052 913 3160.
Fethard 052 613 1202.
Clogheen 052 746 5204.

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Lowry Addresses Dáil Regarding Need To Establish New Stable Government

“Never in modern times have there been a greater need for a strong and stable Government. Those in this House who renege on their duty will not be forgiven by the people of this country.”

Independent Tipperary TD Mr Michael Lowry

Independent Tipperary TD Mr Michael Lowry has addressed an unusual Dáil sitting regarding the impact of COVID-19, and the pressing need to form a new government.

In a stalwart and well-founded address, Mr Lowry stated:-
“I express our heartfelt thanks and appreciation of everyone in Tipperary and across the country who are actively involved or co-operating in confronting the scourge of Covid 19. The Public Health response has been amazing. The social solidarity has been inspiring. Protecting the health of our citizens is of paramount importance. Whatever it takes, whatever it costs, it must be done.

We are living through extraordinary times. Normality, as we know it, has deserted us. Our country is pulsating with anxiety, fear and real uncertainty. People are craving relief from worry and trepidation. Our Government is doing an admirable job. It’s approach is measured, assured and proportionate.

However, there is a limit to what a Government can do without a mandate. This is not a time for limitations. It is my understanding of the Irish Constitution that after 30th March, we will not have a functioning Seanad. Therefore, it will not be possible to pass further emergency legislation.
We urgently need a mandated Government, as we strive to contain this virus pandemic and limit its threat to life, while preparing for its aftermath and economic consequences.

Protecting our people and our country.
Never in modern times have there been a greater need for a strong and stable Government. Our people need a Government with the mandated power to do whatever must be done, to protect our people and our country.

We are failing our citizens if we do not give them a Government that can lead them through this crisis and along the tough road that lies ahead – a Government that can and will take the necessary decision for both the short-term and the long-term good.

Every person in our country is depending on the comparatively small number of people that can help them through this crisis. Those providing that help and those requiring that help are depending on the Government – a Government made up of democratically elected representative who are both duty bound and morally obliged to govern. A Government that must be capable and willing to face the magnitude of this situation while tackling all issues arising.

A new Government will have to be one of the strongest Governments that this country has ever had. This Government must be totally united and unfailingly committed to guiding our people through what may be the toughest times of their lives.

Despite the fact that the Government itself will be largely in unchartered waters as a result of this pandemic; it must lead with strength, stability, unity and bravery.

When Covid-19 itself fades, this crisis will be far from over. While people will breathe a collective sigh of relief that the threat to their health and lives has passed; the reality of its economic impact will become our new challenge. This is where the strength and stability of a new Government will be of greatest importance.

This is not a time for doubt and uncertainty. This is time for strong and decisive Government formation. Continuity is vital for Ireland right now and in the months and years ahead.

People must see their new Government in action. They must see strength – real strength. The must see politicians do what they are elected to do. They must see action and ability taking control in rebuilding our damaged economy. Putting our country back to where we were before this crisis began, will be a mammoth task. Economists are making stark forecasts, which will change and further increase.

A new Government will not be governing an Ireland that existed four months ago – they will be facing an entirely new reality that cannot yet be fully defined. The future economy of Ireland is precarious. Our successful efforts in recent years, to revive our country from recession, will be obliterated.

No unaffordable bucket lists.
Election promises made at the start of this year will become wishful thinking. This should not be about political party interests or individual interests. This is not a time for political posturing or grand standing. There can be no unaffordable bucket lists when entering this Government – there is already a significant hole in the bucket and it will take time to mend and refill. There will be no room for political cowardice in any new future Government. This must be a Government that will endure.

This is a time for resolute action. This is a time for political realisms. This is a time for conviction and courage. Those in this House who renege on their duty will not be forgiven by the people of this country.

Tough, hard and unpopular decisions will have to be made. These decisions will have to be presented to a public that will be struggling hard to recover their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

How these decisions are communicated, explained and ultimately enforced will be a major challenge for Government and one that will call for greater strength, stability and unity. When the costs for this crisis have accumulated, the full extent of the damage to our economy will be evident. Rebuilding our economy can only be done through creative, imaginative policies. Many of the decisions needed will be unpopular. As a Government, there will be no escaping the ire of the people. The only defence will be strength and stability.

Our constituents gave us the mandate and the privilege of serving the people of Ireland.
As a member of a Regional Group of TD’s, we are determined to play our part to make real and genuine efforts to form a stable Government. We are willing to step up to this task. Our constituents gave us the mandate and the privilege of serving the people of Ireland. Those who are not prepared to be constructive in this approach are failing the people of this country.

A new administration will carry a huge burden, but we as a Regional Group are willing to contribute in maintaining a stable secure Government at a time of great danger for out country.”

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Tipperary Co. Council Fail To Enact Litter Pollution Laws.

As our readers will be aware; the 2020 Irish General Election took place on Saturday February 8th, same convening to elect members for the 33rd Dáil Éireann, latter the lower house of Ireland’s parliament. Each one of the 160 seats available were contested, with the Ceann Comhairle (Head of Council or Chairperson) being returned automatically.

Photo taken on March 1st. 2020, on the Templetuohy Road, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

For this election, posters were quickly erected by some candidates under cover of darkness, using plastic cable ties, on every perpendicular standing object throughout Ireland, and to the honest eye, it would appear that the election candidates who had achieved least over the past four years created most of the offensive plastic photo-shopped images.

Rules Governing the Removal of Election Posters

The rules governing the removal of such posters are easy to digest, even for politicians.
Posters must be removed within 7 days of polling day. These requirements for election posters are set out under Section 19 of the Litter Pollution Act 1997 and the Electoral (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 2009.

There is a requirement for candidates to remove all posters, including any cable ties, within 7 days following a General Election and failure to comply with such conditions constitutes an offence. The responsibility for the enforcement of this litter law lies solely with the local authority, which in this case is Tipperary Co. Council.

Any election posters in place after this stipulated time frame are deemed to be in breach of such legislation and are subject to an on-the-spot litter fine of €150 per poster.

Possibly the main offender of this particular Litter Pollution Act is Professor Dr. Dolores Cahill, a member of the minor right-wing, hard Eurosceptic political party in Ireland, which call themselves ‘The Irish Freedom Party’.

While strongly advocating an exit from the EU, Dr. Cahill’s party claims to be a ‘patriotic party‘, confirming it is ‘pro-natalist and supportive of stable families for procreation’.

The Irish Freedom Party set up 11 candidates to contest the recent 2020 Irish General Election, with none of their candidates being successfully elected. Those candidates fielded achieved a share of first preference votes between 0.19% and 2.06% in their respective constituencies, while their Party Tipperary Chairperson Dr. Dolores Cahill came second-last in the Tipperary constituency, with a mere 521 first preference votes.

This on-the-spot litter fine of €150, would surely assist the Thurles Municipal District’s ongoing weekly cost of filling watery potholes with shovels of dry tarmac.

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Lowry Welcomes Funding Of €545,540, Through ORIS

Michael Lowry TD

Independent Tipperary TD Mr Michael Lowry welcomes funding of €545,540 to Tipperary, through the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS).

Deputy Michael Lowry is delighted to confirm that two projects in Co. Tippeary will share funding of €545,540 through the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) 2019. The ORIS is funded through the Department of Rural and Community Development and Fáilte Ireland.

The details of the approved projects in Tipperary are:
Under Measure 2: Garrykennedy Amenity will receive funding of €45,540 for the replacement of timber decking and footbridges, with further improvements to benefit wheelchair access.

Under Measure 3: Suir Blueway Tipperary will receive €500,000 for Infrastructure Enhancement works to improve the existing canoe trail which forms part of the River Suir Blueway project including river access works and trail refurbishment works.

Mr Lowry, in concluding this announcement stated, “This funding will make a huge difference to the ongoing maintenance and development of these outdoor recreation facilities in Co. Tipperary.
There is no doubting the huge importance of both these projects to local residents and tourists alike, who use and continue to benefit greatly from these facilities. I am pleased that my support for these projects has played a central role in facilitating this funding announced today”
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